Shivia helps very poor families in West Bengal work their way out of poverty through farming. We offer our beneficiaries the chance to turn small plots of land into fertile areas where they can grow valuable crops. We train our farmers to adopt new farming techniques and organise them into groups so that they can benefit from reduced costs for seeds and fertilisers and have better access to the marketplace. We aim to work with over 1,000 farmers helping them gain a much needed income.
In India, 70% of the population, about 840 million people, live on less than USD $2 per day. Shivia works in West Bengal, one of the poorest states, where most people struggle to earn enough for even the most basic human needs. Hand-outs to alleviate poverty are unsuccessful in the long term - what people really want is a regular job and a secure income to provide for their family. Most of all, parents want to give their children nutritious food and access to a good education.
Our project offers very poor families the chance to gain a sustainable income through farming. We teach our farmers to make their land productive and grow high-yield crops in the most cost efficient way. Our farmers can then sell their home-grown produce at local markets and feed their families with fresh fruit & vegetables. This enterprise offers families a healthier lifestyle, better living standards, access to education and ultimately a route out of long-term poverty.
Once our farmers are trained and well established, we organise them into farmer interest groups, allowing them to gain from reduced input costs (seeds/fertilisers, etc) and access to wider markets. As a group they may also be eligible for bank loans, enabling them to grow their business even further. We also link the groups to government agricultural schemes. Our farmers can quickly become self-sufficient and financially independent with spending choices never previously available to them.
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